Spending on roads, schools and the massive Hunter Park redevelopment will be high on the region's agenda when Labor delivers its first state budget in 13 years on Tuesday.
Against a backdrop of forecast budget repair and cost-cutting, the Hunter will hope some of its key priorities remain on the Minns government's agenda six months after the election.
The Premier spoke several times about the "sharp elbows" of his Hunter MPs, five of whom were elevated to ministries, after Labor edged into power.
Some of the gloss disappeared from that historic achievement when Minns was forced to sack Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp from cabinet last month for failing to promptly declare some of his extended family's Hunter property interests in his ministerial disclosures.
Nonetheless, if the remaining four Hunter cabinet ministers cannot deliver some budgetary wins for the region, voters will wonder when this may ever happen.
The Hunter Park sports, entertainment and residential redevelopment is a top priority for regional leaders and has been on Infrastructure Australia's priority list since 2021.
The project, which has been in a planning phase for more than six years, has become mired in the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into Mr Crakanthorp.
But with the state, and Mr Minns, crying out for opportunities to increase affordable housing supply, the redevelopment will need a healthy dose of funding sooner rather than later.
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A Venues NSW business case last year suggested funding a new 11,000-seat entertainment centre would be a good place to start for the precinct.
Further south, Lake Macquarie City Council, residents and developers want to see action on upgrading Mandalong Road, Morisset, a project facing a cost blowout since the federal government promised $56 million and the state $20 million last year.
The work is now priced at $122 million on the federal Department of Infrastructure website, suggesting one or both governments will have to stump up more cash for a project deemed crucial in a rapidly growing area.
Port Stephens residents will hope to see dollars set aside in this budget to start work on the most significant section of the Nelson Bay Road duplication project.
The 11-kilometre off-line section of dual carriageway bypassing Salt Ash was part of the NSW government's recent "strategic infrastructure review".
"Any funding decisions will be made clearer in September's NSW state budget," a Transport for NSW spokesperson told the Newcastle Herald last month.
In education, the previous government allocated $16.6 million for a substantial redevelopment of Newcastle High School in the 2022-23 budget, though it is not clear how much of this has been spent.
The Newcastle Herald understands the government is close to awarding a contract and work could start next year.
Labor promised during the election campaign to build new public high schools at Medowie and the Huntlee housing estate near Branxton.
Education Minister Prue Car announced on Friday that the budget would include money for Medowie and upgrades to Raymond Terrace's two high schools and Gillieston Public.
In Newcastle, the council wants the state government to give Hunter Water $40 million to help alleviate flooding risks at Wallsend.
Budget forward estimates should contain substantial amounts for the ongoing $835 million redevelopment of John Hunter Hospital.
The government said last week that it would spend $3 billion over four years on hospitals in western Sydney and $3.5 billion to build 15 schools in the city's west.
The Hunter is at the centre of the government's interventions in the energy sector after Energy Minister Penny Sharpe flagged that it may pay Origin Energy to keep Eraring Power Station open beyond its planned closure in 2025.
Treasurer Daniel Mookhey has announced the government will increase coal royalties by about 30 per cent, raising an extra $2.7 billion over four years.
Mookhey forecast in June that government debt will hit $187 billion by 2026.
The government has announced that it will use $1 billion from the Restart NSW fund as a seed investment in the new Energy Security Corporation to partner with industry on pumped hydro, battery and other projects which help stabilise the grid.
It will also commit an additional $800 million to the Transmission Acceleration Facility, including money for the Hunter Transmission Project connecting renewable energy zones to the electricity network and funding for the Waratah Super Battery at Lake Munmorah.
Labor also promised to establish a Hunter economic transition authority using $1 million from the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund.
Hunter councils also will be keen to find out if the Resources for Regions fund has survived the Treasurer's belt-tightening.
The fund has distributed $560 million since 2012 to help councils in mining areas and is planning to hand out another $140 million in its latest grant round.
Seven of the Hunter's nine local government areas are among the 26 councils eligible for the cash.
Other Labor election promises in the Hunter included $21 million for mass sand renourishment at Stockton beach, a TAFE manufacturing centre of excellence, $43.5 million for upgraded roads in Upper Hunter, Maitland, Swansea and Speers Point.
The government has agreed to pay rises for the state's teachers and nurses and said it will cut the Creative Kids and Active Kids voucher programs from $190 million to $28 million.
The government has topped up a regional road repair program with an extra $390 million spread across 95 eligible councils.
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